By the year 2030, elderly individuals in the United States are expected to represent 20 percent of the total population. More than 25 percent of all Americans have multiple health conditions. This number rises to about two out of three in the elderly population which accounts for approximately 66 percent of the nation?s healthcare budget. Some of the items frequently associated with this cost include walkers and canes and mobile chairs for the elderly. However, other types of items which are lower in cost and durability tend to make up the majority of the cost over time such as a mattress protector or stoma covers.
What is a Tracheostomy?
A tracheostomy stoma cover is frequently used for patients who have undergone a tracheostomy. This is a procedure that is performed to treat a blocked airway or to provide support for the prolonged ventilator or respiratory devices. During the procedure, an incision is made in the windpipe to allow for the insertion of a tube to open the airway. This procedure is also called a stoma, which is a reference to the hole in the neck into which the tube is placed.
The procedure can be temporary or permanent. The incision is below the vocal cords and can sometimes affect the way in which sound is produced by the patient. The process circumvents the natural respiratory process and bypasses the role of the throat, mouth, and nose, allowing the patient to breathe directly through the tube.
When is a Tracheostomy Performed?
There are a number of medical conditions which may call for the procedure. Some of the short-term reasons include anaphylaxis, and injury to the larynx, infection, facial surgery or burns, and severe mouth or neck injuries. Long-term reasons may include cancer, coma, birth defects, obstructive sleep apnea, and vocal cord paralysis.
A laryngectomy is one of the more common reasons for having a tracheostomy. This is a typical treatment for cancer of the larynx but it may also be done to treat severe trauma to the area from an injury. In some cases, it is necessary due to the side effects of radiation treatment. Stoma covers for laryngectomy are an example of an unexpected and recurring medical expense.
What is a Tracheostomy Stoma Cover?
A tracheostomy stoma cover is a type of protective covering for the stoma opening. This can help prevent a mess from a sneeze or a cough or any other type of issue and it also helps protect the opening itself. There are many types from which to choose but all perform the same basic function. There are different styles from which to choose but it is important that whatever is chosen allows air to flow freely into the opening.
It is possible to find a tracheostomy stoma cover which is washable but even these will eventually need to be replaced. It is important that seniors and those who care for them factor these costs, and others like them, in when creating a medical budget. It is also important to carefully keep track of these types of expenditures and seek reimbursement whenever possible.
As the country becomes demographically older, it will become more imperative that people begin to recognize and discuss the implications of the corresponding increase in the cost of healthcare. One of the ways to do this is to begin creating realistic budgets that include medical equipment and supplies such as the tracheostomy stoma cover as part of retirement planning.